Want to get the most from your OA treatment? Keep these tips in mind:
Know what to expect from your treatment
The goals of treating OA are to control pain, to improve your ability to do day-to-day activities, and to slow down the progression of your OA and its consequences.
You may also wish to set personal goals for your treatment, such as being able to play with your kids or continue a sport you enjoy.
Whatever your goals, it's important to have a realistic idea of what to expect from your OA treatment. Talk to your doctor to find out what your treatment is for, how to use it properly, its risks and benefits, and what you can expect it to do for you.
For a personal perspective, read what 3-time Olympic medalist Nathalie Lambert has to say about knowing what to expect from your treatment.
Find a treatment that works and stay with it
The best treatment plan in the world won't work properly if you don't stick with it!
Talk to your doctor about which treatment is most appropriate for you. Once you've agreed on a treatment, do your best to follow your treatment plan exactly as your doctor recommends.
For example, if your doctor prescribes a medication that you need to take every day, try not to miss any doses. If you have trouble remembering to take it, have questions about whether you still need it, or aren't sure if it's working, speak to your doctor or pharmacist. There are ways to manage these issues so that you can stay with your treatment. For example, using alarms and dosettes (a special medication box with compartments for each day) can help you remember to take your medication.
For some real-life advice on staying with your treatment plan, find out about former alpine ski racer Todd Brooker's fight with OA, his experience with treatment, and what he has to say about having a plan and sticking to it.